St. John's coach Lavin misses season opener

St. John's head basketball coach Steve Lavin was 12 season against William & Mary.

Lavin was diagnosed with prostate cancer last fall and underwent successful surgery on October 6.

Assistant coach Mike Dunlap coached the team in his absence. The school said previously that Lavin was expected to watch the opener of the 2k Sports Classic from home.

Lavin guided the Red Storm to a 21-12 record last season, his first with the team, including a 12-6 mark in the talent-rich Big East. He took them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their vacated appearance in 2002.

Along the way, the Red Storm earned a reputation for getting big wins, including a 15-point upset of Duke in January. They had a six-game win streak in February that included a victory over eventual NCAA champion Connecticut.

Lavin is active in Coaches vs. Cancer and The V Foundation for Cancer Research.